Tonight's session was excruciatingly long and boring. The meeting started with a discussion about the possibilities of high speed rail in the state of Indiana and specifically in Fort Wayne. In summary, the numbers don't add up and it isn't going to happen anytime soon.
Next, there was a discussion about combining the city and county plan commissions into a joint operation that would be under the county umbrella. In this scenario the city employees would have to reapply for positions with the county inside the new joint department. There were some legal issues that needed to be ironed out in the agreement and the council agreed to postpone any action for two weeks. However, the reception from the council was positive and I expect it to pass unanimously. From there it has to be approved by other groups including the county commissioners and the county council.
Finally, there was a presentation by Aqua Indiana in an attempt to rebut the city's presentations given last week and this week. It really was a lackluster presentation that was all over the map and had two competing themes. The first is that the city shouldn't take them over at all because their service is improving, and the other is that the city should wait to take them over until the courts decide on a final valuation. They were pressed on several issues by various councilmembers and had no response. In the end they admitted that they had water quality problems and their product didn't match the city's quality.
The council voted unanimously to proceed except for councilman Pape who abstained because his law firm is currently involved with the city on this issue. I will also say that councilman Didier stood up for his constituents and took Aqua Indiana to task for their lousy water quality. If I get a chance, I'll put video of his comments up on the blog. Considering the meeting lasted about 3.5 hours, this is a very concise summary and if you managed to watch the whole thing from home then you should get some sort of mayoral citation...